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  1. The Paper Plane – Endless Recorder A5 with Regalia Paper A while ago I reviewed the Endless Recorder A5 in both blanco and dotted versions: a great fountain pen friendly notebook with 68 gsm Tomoe River paper. The paper in this notebook was simply perfect for an everyday notetaking instrument. It quickly became my notebook of choice for daily bullet journaling, which I use as a productivity tool (see also bulletjournal.com). Recently, with the production stop of the original Tomoe River paper, the company decided to produce their own paper for the Endless Recorder notebooks. Time for a re-review, where I examine the next incarnation of the notebook with the new 80 gsm Regalia paper. Same concept… new paper. Except for the change in paper, there are only a few minimal differences to the previous Tomoe River based Recorder notebooks: 187 numbered pages instead of the original 192, 2 page marker ribbons instead of one. The essence of the notebook hasn’t changed at all. But what about the new Regalia paper? Is it as good or better than the 68 gsm Tomoe River paper of the original? To find out, I did some writing tests, with multiple pens, nib sizes and inks. The 80 gsm Regalia paper is advertised as a paper that loves ink: very fountain pen friendly, zero bleed-through, no feathering. From my tests, I can confirm that all of this is true. Writing on the new Regalia paper is a pleasure: the paper is very smooth, but still has a little bit of feedback while writing. A really nice feeling. Although not advertised, the paper is also really good at expressing sheen in inks that have that quality. The picture below gives an illustration: The top line in the above photo is written with TACCIA koiai, which is an ink that shows some glorious sheen with the Regalia paper. The middle line is my own Kung Fu Caine ink mix, which is a non-sheen ink – the few shiny dots come from glitter that was present in the underlying Golden Beryl ink. The bottom line is written with a glitter ink (Jacques Herbin Shogun). So, the new paper in the Endless Recorder notebooks is indeed very fountain pen friendly – no doubt about it. But… and here comes the bad news… There are three things I don’t like about this Regalia paper: The first thing is a personal impression, that I find difficult to express. The paper tends to present ink colours in a “cool” rather than “warm” way. It’s not that inks look bad, it’s more an impression of a cool attitude, distant, reserved, unfriendly… I don’t feel the warmth and coziness I'm looking for when using this paper for journaling. A personal opinion, but the paper just doesn’t feel right for me. Second – and this is a lot more objective: the paper is very slow-drying. It takes ages for the ink to dry. The dry times on the writing samples above were done with my Lamy Safari M-nib pen filled with Diamine Espresso. It took almost 50 seconds for the ink to dry! And look at that small ink droplet at the top right … it still smeared after more than 5 minutes! Third – and this is again a personal impression: the paper has almost no grip to it. When using your fingers to leaf through the pages of the notebook… it just doesn’t work. There’s too little grip on the paper. You really need to pinch the pages at the corner to turn them. This makes it difficult to quickly flip through the notebook, e.g. when searching for notes on previous pages. The second and third points kill the Endless Recorder with Regalia paper for me as a daily bullet journal. The super long drying times and the difficulty when flipping through my notes are a definite deal-breaker. And the first point means that – for me – it’s also not a good paper for daily journaling. A pity… because I was a huge fan of the older Tomoe River-based Endless Recorders. Conclusion Endless recently changed to their own 80 gsm Regalia paper for the Endless Recorder notebooks. This surely is fountain pen friendly paper – no doubt about it. But my primary use case for these notebooks was as a daily bullet journal, and here the new paper fails: the super-long drying times are a true deal-breaker. So, time to hit the road again, and re-start my search for the perfect fountain pen friendly bullet journal notebook.
  2. PenChalet is running a back-to-school sale, and in their highlighted items they have Endless Recorders described as such: We still have some of the Endless Recorder notebooks with Tomoe River paper. Each notebook comes with 192 5 1/2" x 8 3/8" pages of 68GSM paper inside a hard leatherette cover. Choose from several colors in both blank or dot grid. Each notebook has an elastic closure and an expanding pocket on the inside of the back cover. I checked the endless website and they seem to be doing their own 80 gsm paper now. Has anyone tried this Regalia paper that Endless is switching to? I need to know if I have to stock up on dot-journals in my preferred colors while I can. I love the Tomoe River journals.
  3. Endless Pens started putting Leonardo Officina Italiana pens in its (pre-order only) catalogue earlier this year, including a store-exclusive Bacio Del Diavolo ("The Devil's Kiss") limited edition of the Momento Zero model. There seemed to have been a lot of flux in its pricing of the Leonardo models since; first the prices dropped briefly for less than a week†, then went back up at the same time as free international shipping subject to a minimum spend threshold of US$149 was introduced, and then up and up again over the past couple of months (when I glanced at them occasionally; I haven't been watching and charting all the movements). During that time, the Bacio Del Diabolo was always priced at least the same as, and sometimes higher than, more commonly available models of the Momento Zero such as the Blue Hawaii. Right now Endless Pens has issued a special promotion code of 25% off that applies to pre-orders of The Devil's Kiss edition only. That brings the price of the steel-nibbed version to US$149.25, and that of the gold-nibbed version to US$267. (The text of the product listing seems to suggest that the 25%-off code will not work for the gold-nibbed version, but I tried it and it does work, at the time of writing.) For the first time, Endless Pens is offering its store-exclusive, 100-pieces-only limited edition for less than its contemporary pricing for the Momento Zero Blue Positino; I'm not going to speculate why here. However, I also note that the minimum spend threshold for free shipping has now been raised to US$250, so an order of the discounted steel-nibbed version alone will not qualify. I think it's an attractive-looking pen, and some fellow FPNers have had reported good experiences with Leonardo nibs. But then, some others have had problems with the nibs as delivered (and mostly sorted out with good customer service by European retailers from whom the pens were ordered). My own experience with the EF nib on a Leonardo Momento Zero was not great, so now I'm hesitant to buy another, especially when I either have to pay for shipping or top up the order with yet another US$100 worth of products I don't need.

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